Nature's Bounty: 8 Best Things To Do In Cauayan City, Philippines

things to do in cauayan city philippines

Cauayan City is a small city in the province of Isabela, in the northern part of Luzon Island. As a city, it is quite young, but the town itself became a settlement as early as 1740. Located near the Cagayan River Valley, the town boasts of rich and fertile soil good for agriculture, which is why it is a good place to enjoy nature’s bounty.

1. Celebrate with the locals - Gawagaway-yan Festival

Street dancing
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user GinaD used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Gawagaway-yan means good harvest and joyous gathering, and the festival which is slated every end of March until the first week of April celebrates the foundation of Cauayan City. The whole community, from the local government to the local businesses and local people join in the two-week long celebration. There is a lot to do during the festival as a lot of activities are lined up for both locals and visitors to enjoy. The traditional festivities to watch out for include the Street Dancing Competition and the race of the painted carabaos. Carabaos are a local water buffalo that are used in local farms. An agro-trade fair is also featured, where local farms can showcase their best produce and products. Non-traditional activities include the motorbike and car exhibits and the sports events. Check with the local government’s website what the schedule is for the year. In 2017, the festival is slated from April 1 to 9. From Manila, you can reach Cauayan City by air or land travel. Cebu Pacific has daily flights from Manila to the city, which takes one and a half hours. You can also take an air conditioned bus from Manila to Cauayan, which is between 8 to 10 hours of travel.

Gawagaway-yan Festival

Address: Cauayan City, Isabela

Duration: First of April, every year. In 2017, April 1 to 9

Contact Information: City Tourism Office +63 786522017

Website: Gawagaway-yan Festival

2. All about mushrooms: visit the Mushroom Center

Mushroom culture
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Mushroom Center was born out of the need to identify a product that would be identified with the city. Through the Department of Trade and Industry’s One Town, One Product program, the city chose mushrooms as the product it would develop. Located along the national highway in the village of Tagaran, the Mushroom Center was established in 2008. It grows several varieties of mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms, straw mushrooms and ganoderma mushrooms. Visitors can learn about how mushrooms are cultivated and processed. While there, you should not miss trying out different mushroom dishes cooked up by the center. Try their mushroom tempura, spring rolls stuffed with mushrooms, as well as mushroom-stuffed pastries. Visits to the center can be arranged by contacting their offices.

Mushroom Center

Address: National Highway, Tagaran, Cauayan City, Isabela

Operating Hours: 8am - 5pm, everyday

Contact Information: +63 9084086998

Website: Mushroom Center

3. More of nature's bounty at Isabela Green Valley Farm

Orchid farm
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rudolph.A.Furtado used under CC0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

In the village of Sillawit, one can find an oasis of orchids, flowers and ornamental plants in Isabela Green Valley Farm. Owned by the Dacuycuy family, the farm not only features plants that are lovely to look at, they also have fruit trees that depending on the time you visit, can give you sweet fruit to enjoy as well. Visitors can enjoy a slow afternoon on the farm, enjoying a meal or snack in one of the bamboo huts overlooking a lily pond. All of the fruits, vegetables and even fish are products of the farm, so it cannot get fresher than this. The farm also has dwarf coconut trees, which bear fresh coconuts for your coconut juice. The farm is only 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) from the city center using the Sipat Street route.

Isabela Green Valley Farm

Address: National Highway, Sillawit, Cauayan City

How to Access: From the city center of Cauayan, take Sipat Street and follow the signages to the farm

Website: Isabela Green Valley Farm

4. Pick as much fruit as you can at Cortez and Lindon Farms

091538jfCuisine of Bulacan Foods and fruitsfvf 21
Source: Photo by user Judgefloro used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

During the dry season in the Philippines, between April and May, the best place to get fresh fruit is the Cortez and Lindon Fruit Farm. Easily accessible from the city center, one can go to the farm to pick all the fruit you want and pay before leaving. You can also eat the fruit right there on the premises. Among the fruits you can get are Philippine mangoes, sweet rambutan, papaya, bananas and the very exotic Java plum, locally called duhat. The farm also offers fresh fish like tilapia, which is raised in the farm. You may arrange a visit through the Tourism office of the city.

5. Learn about local history at the Our Lady of the Pillar Church

Our Lady of the Pillar Church in Cauayan, Isabela
Source: Photo by user Markadan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Right in the center of town, one can find the historic Our Lady of the Pillar Church. The church was established by Dominican missionaries in 1741. Although the first church structure was a simple one, it later on became a huge, fortress-like structure. Its old and commanding exterior however, belies what can be found inside. Once you enter the church, you will be surprised to find how modern the church looks inside. The local government opted to preserve the church’s unique facade, while modernizing its interiors. Today, it serves as the town’s religious center for Roman Catholics.

Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church

Address: Cauayan City, Isabela

Facebook: Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church

6. Learn about local history at the Tabacalera Warehouse

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Cauayan City used to be part of tobacco country, where fields of tobacco were planted and supplied the Tabacalera that was established during the Spanish colonial period. The industry continued to prosper under the colonial government, but later on died off because it no longer had Spain as its main buyer for tobacco. Remnants of that history remain to this day, with the old Tabacalera Warehouse that still stands. Previously owned by the Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas, it is now owned by the Plaza family. The lands around it are no longer planted with tobacco and the warehouse is now being used as a furniture workshop. The warehouse is located near Hacienda De San Luis, which is now a new eco-tourism destination in the city. You may arrange a visit through the Tourism office of the city.

7. Try the city's newest eco-tourism destination - Hacienda De San Luis

Wall climbing
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

With eco-tourism becoming a growing trend in local destinations, Cauayan City seems to have caught the bug as well. Opened in 2015, Hacienda De San Luis is a former hacienda, a large agricultural estate established during the Spanish colonial period. It has been converted into a new destination, which offers a place to hold indoor and outdoor events. For adrenaline junkies, the zipline and the wall climbing facilities will surely get them excited. For history buffs, the museum will give you a better understanding of the history of the city and its people.

Hacienda De San Luis

Address: San Luis, Cauayan City, Isabela

Operating Hours: 7am - 8pm, Everyday

Contact Information: +63 9053901255

Facebok: Hacienda De San Luis

8. Wakeboard at D’Spot Rail Park

Wakeboarding Cauayan City
Source: Pixabay

If you’re an adventure seeker, be sure to spend a day on this wakeboard destination for some extreme surface water fun. D’Spot Rail Park is the first wakeboarding park in its region. It offers a complete range of wakeboarding activities and experienced coaches. It features an artificial lake, different ramps, obstacles and other amenities for its guests. This wakeboarding facility caters to beginners, advanced and pro-level of wakeboarders. May it be your first time or not this will certainly be both thrilling and fun as you do the tricks on the surface of the water while being towed.

D’Spot Rail Park

Address: Jaycee Farm San Fermin, 3305 Cauayan, Isabela

Website: D’Spot Rail Park

So much more than just nature's bounty

Cauayan is a city that was made by its history. The Spaniards made it a center of their tobacco trade because of its rich soil. And this soil has brought so much bounty to the city. Come and enjoy nature’s bounty with the citizens of Cauayan. While you are at it, get a dose of adventure too.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I am a freelance writer living in the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City. I am passionate about writing and living and anything in between.

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